Cantrell’s art on display in Owensboro

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“The Way of the Land: The Farm Story” exhibition, which opened July 29 at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art includes five paintings by artist Jim Cantrell of Bardstown.

Antique farm implements and artifacts along with paintings by other invited regional artists are on display documenting and celebrating the region’s agrarian heritage. It is open through Oct. 22.

The one Purchase Award was awarded to Cantrell for his oil painting titled “Back Off” and will become part of the museum’s permanent collection. His tongue-in-cheek depiction of a rooster intimidating two cows in the barnyard to “stay away from his chicks” was one of the highlights of the evening. During her introduction to the exhibition, Executive Director Mary Bryan Hood said “Art affects and interacts with every aspect of our lives. Aesthetics are a part of the human experience, and this exhibit looks at the area’s agricultural heritage thorough that lens of art.”

Cantrell’s painting career spans six decades, the last 47 years in his studio in Kentucky. Earlier this year he made history by being the first ever Kentucky artist to be selected by Churchill Downs as the Official Art of the Derby artist and produced the images for the 2017 Kentucky Oaks and Derby posters.

His work is now included in the permanent collection of 16 art museums around the country and is in numerous corporate and private art collections as well.